Monday was my dad’s birthday. I’ve been blessed with wonderful parents and a supportive family, but while those kinds of relationships make real life worth living, they get kind of boring in books or movies. Tension and conflict are the fuels that drive good stories, after all, and who knows how to push buttons better than a parent?!?
That got me thinking about fictional fathers I’ve created. I’ve written at least one horribly cruel father, and three who are somewhat disconnected, and a few characters whose fathers have died, though I’ve given a couple heroes and heroines relatively normal family units. Violet Perch is one of the normal ones because, in Eruption, part of the journey is watching this white-bread American family deal with the eruption of the Yellowstone super caldera. In this short excerpt, Violet is still at college. Phone communications have been spotty due to problems with landlines and cell towers. Her dad finally reaches her while she’s in the car with the new boyfriend her parents don’t know about. She and Dad have already talked about all the important stuff, like everybody being safe and having food, etc. Then….
“Oh, well, I, umm, I…a guy took me to a rail trail south of Pittsburgh.” Dang it, I hated when home life infringed on college life.
“A guy? What guy?” Dad’s tone went from conversational to stern alertness.
“We’re almost back to campus. Gotta go.”
“Wait. What guy?”
I sighed. “Dad, I’m fine. I’ll text you later. Say hi to Mom and Sara, okay?”
He grumbled, but hung up. I suspected this wouldn’t be the end of it. As soon as he told mom I’d been out with a boy, my phone would light up big time.
Boone quirked a brow. “I guess your parents don’t know about me?”
“No,” I admitted. “Do yours?”
So, tell me in the comments about the first character who comes to mind when you think of a fictional father. He can be either good (the wise Odin) or horrible (Darth Vader).
Eruption is book one in the Yellowblown series. I just sent book two off to the editor so it’s definitely coming in the first half of 2015!!!
I’m in the middle of the perfect college semester, hundreds of miles from Mom, with an awesome roomie and my freshman crush finally becoming a sophomore reality—Hotness! I’m figuring out calculus, I’ve got both hands on the handlebars and the wind of freedom in my hair. What on earth could slow my roll?
How about if the Yellowstone volcano erupts for the first time in 630,000 years, spewing a continuous load of ash (crap) all over North America? Think that’ll put a kink in my bicycle chain?
Make that kinks, plural, because here’s a scientific fact I’ll bet you didn’t know. Nothing ruins the perfect semester like a super caldera. Now that I’ve made you smarter today, maybe you can tell me how to keep my life cruising in the right direction—no to Mom, yes to roomie, double yes to Hotness!—during a global disaster?
My lame name is Violet and, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m not hanging from the side of a cinder cone on the last page of this trauma, but there’s definitely more to come. Unless, of course, humans become extinct and then there’s not. Duh.
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